Nearly seven years since the Rapide was introduced, Aston Martin has been able to successfully combine the looks of a DB9, the practicality of a sedan, and a V12 engine to create the new Rapide S.
The external design is a work of art; iconic Aston Martin design signatures such as the side strakes and bold grille underline the Rapide S. Even though it is longer and has four doors, the headlights are very familiar, with lots of aluminium used in the construction, and the massive wheels give it a great design.
Looking at the interiors, the stitching on the seats is superb. The control panel is traditional but is backed up by Aston Martin’s modern infotainment system. It may be hard for back-seat passengers to get in, but once inside, the seats are so comfortable that you may not want to leave.
One of the first things you notice while driving the Rapide S is the noise, because of the 6-litre V12 engine, with 552 horsepower. The engine is supported by an eight-speed automatic transmission, which took this to another level compared with the older version of the Rapide, which had a six-speed two gearbox. The new Rapide S can get to 0-62mph in 4.4 seconds with a top speed of 203mph, making it the fastest four-door car ever produced by Aston Martin.
No other four-door car performs quite like the Rapide S, it benefits from Aston Martin’s Adaptive Damping System (ADS), which offers three distinct settings: “Normal”, “Sport” and “Track”. While driving, it is very easy to forget that you are, in fact, driving a four-door car.
Aston Martin’s President and Chief Executive Office Dr Andy Palmer said: “Right from its inception, the Rapide set out to do something different: To offer the essence of Aston Martin in a more spacious but no less sporting or beautiful package. It’s a testament to the original concept that the Rapide S has matured into something even more compelling. Hugely desirable and immensely capable, it juxtaposes incredible performance with space, style, and luxury. Our customers love the fact that its four-door, four-seat design enables them to share the Aston Martin experience with their friends and family. That it continues to do so with such panache and personality underlines its rare combination of qualities.”
When confronted with a sports car, practicality is not a quality normally considered, especially not with a 200+mph car, but the Rapide S does exactly that, it offers exceptional flexibility. The rear seats can be easily folded at the touch of a button, giving the driver almost triple the available space.
The ability for the car to handle at corners is exceptional, especially at high speeds. For a sedan, the Rapide S handles it very well: The steering is light, making it a very enjoyable car to drive, visibility is slightly limited as the windshield and the windscreen are tight but the side mirrors and the windows give the driver enough overview of the surroundings; besides, once you hear the howl of the V12 engine, nothing else will matter.